Feb 092010

I’m not sure where this area got it’s name (Ettin’s Back), because I’ve yet to see one Ettin in the Maguuma Jungle! This area is characterized by long stretches of dry land, and is the location where I first encountered Ventari in his small outpost: Ventari’s Refuge.
Even though my friend Adi has fully explored this area before, she is joining me to help share some stories and perhaps find something new!

While most of Ettin’s Back looks very dry and bleak, you can still find monsters prospering here. Just as in Sage Lands, you will find devourers and thornstalkers. The only additional foes are centaurs, which doesn’t surprise me because this area connects with the Silverwood.

As you can clearly see, the Maguuma Jungle has two main layers: a dry top layer, and a lush green lower layer. Unfortunately for my friend Adi who prefers the lower layers, we won’t see much of that in this expedition.

An interesting rock formation, there is not really anything like it in the whole area (I checked!).

At first glance, I didn’t see anything remarkable. It’s just a bunch of abandoned houses, right?
But at the sight of smoke coming from one of the houses, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped! Surely this must be a sign of some sort of human activity! What could a spirit-druid need smoke for? Alas, a wide chasm keeps me from investigating further. Somehow I just know that if I went inside, that whoever caused the smoke would quickly leave anyways. *heavy sigh* Or even more disappointing, it would just be inhabited by a Shining Blade scout.

I was pretty upset about not being able to investigate the smoke, but was delighted that I could see all three types of druid houses at once.

Adi pointed out more mysterious rock, that has been burrowed into. I still do not have an answer as to who or what did this.

Interestingly enough, you can find Lord Engelram, a collector of Maguuma Manes in a cave with more rock that has been burrowed into. We tried talking to him, but all he cared about were Maguuma Manes. How frustrating!

On our way back to Ventari’s Refuge, we passed by the entry to the Silverwood.

I noticed these huts when we first entered Ettin’s Back, but we had put off investigating until now.

There are eight huts in total, and upon first glance you might expect the Shining Blade to reside here (where else do they rest?). But as I pointed out to Adi, you can clearly see straw inside some of the tents. My partner suggested that if centaurs really do live here, maybe the flower symbol on the flag represents their clan or deity.
I find it very odd that these tents are directly outside of Ventari’s Refuge. The Shining Blade are constantly fighting the centaurs that get too close. Wouldn’t it be a better idea for the centaurs to live somewhere safer? Perhaps they are trying to reclaim Ventari, or have some other motivation.

Before we part, I must fully explain who and what the Shining Blade are, and do the same with famous Ventari.
The goal of the Shining Blade is to “save Kryta” by eliminating the White Mantle and return the Krytan princess, Salma, to power. Lead by Evennia and Bartholos, they helped heroes such as myself evade the wrath of the White Mantle and fulfil the Flameseeker Prophecies.
Just about anyone from Kryta who opposes either joins the Shining Blade or dies under “mysterious causes”! So it comes as no surprise that many adventurers support the Shining Blade.

Prized spoils: One golden item
Outposts: Ventari’s Refuge, Aurora Glade
Exits: Silverwood, Reed Bog, Dry Top
Friends: Adi